If Hossmom did your stocking for Christmas, this is what you would get:

1. Some sort of Tupperware container for organizing.
2. Toothpaste
3. perhaps a keychain
4. a gift card to have your oil changed.
5. socks and/or underwear
6. a nice pen for taking down phone messages.
7. A calendar of some type.
8. Probably some dried fruit or chex mix for a snack.

That is why Hossmom is not allowed to do stockings at our household and hasn’t been allowed to do them since I met her.

It’s not that she doesn’t put a great deal of effort into them. Good lord she does. She will spend a good week researching the perfect place for you to have your oil changed. And that toothpaste, it will at least be the special kind of toothpaste because everyone needs toothpaste. You can never have enough socks or underwear and who doesn’t want to be more organized.

The stockings are given with love and supreme effort.

However, as you can tell, my wife is practical and is shocked that everyone else is not practical. Therefore, everything in your stocking must have a practical purpose. Because to her, practical is supreme fun. What could be more practical and fun than having a new filter for your Brita? One year for Chirstmas she got me luggage with wheels as a gift.

Granted, it was a pretty great gift and lord knows that I wanted them. But it wasn’t exactly Castle Greyskull when I was six either.

So she is no longer allowed to do the stockings for anyone.

Christmas is supposed to be about fun and surprise. It’s supposed to be about something you really wanted but maybe you didn’t really ask for. It’s supposed to be about getting that completely off the wall fun gift that has no other purpose other than having fun or being used later as something you throw at your brother’s head. At Christmas, you are basically chasing that first high like you are a 40 year old Meth Head. It’s never quite the same but you are always hoping.

The stockings are your first introduction to that day. They should be filled with the most un-useful things you can imagine. If you get pencils in your stocking then they should at least be Spider man pencils. If you get underwear then they should at least have a funny slogan on them. Hard Candy, suckers and some type of gooey material that will one day be lodged in the fibers of your carpet.

I do the stockings for the whole family. Trust me, it’s necessary unless the whole family wants a coupon for a day at the carwash.

My wife is ok with this because she does all the other shopping for the family. And when I say all, I do mean all. If you get something from me this year, I didn’t get it for you. I didn’t trudge down to the mall. I didn’t fight the crowds. I didn’t punch some old lady to get you a scarf. My wife does all the WWF maneuvers in this family. It may be one of the single greatest things about being married.

It’s like I’m ordering at a drive through. “Hey Honey, let’s get my sister a hula-hoop.” And like magic, the next day a hula-hoop shows up under the tree. Santa is real kids and she has two kids and loves luggage with rollers.

I’m going to brag on myself here. I kick ass at stockings. I really do. And I do all my own shopping for the stockings, it’s the one thing I really get into every Christmas. If you get a stocking from me then your Christmas will be great. I’m all about the surprise.

Here’s your recipe for you other stocking cookers out there or those that are trapped in the mindset that a holder for your business cards are a great stocking stuffer.

First, start with candy. Everyone gets candy. What else are you supposed to do while you wait for everyone to get out of bed at 3 in the morning.

Second, know your audience. What does your person like? Don’t go generic and give everyone the same stocking, that sucks. You think that I would like some hand lotion? Nope. Give me some WD-40 and then we are in business.

Third, put in a toy. Every stocking must have a toy. It doesn’t have to be a big toy but it does have to be a toy because you give toys on Christmas and it sets the tone for the day. For example, one year I gave my sister a pen that wiggles when you write. Completely useless but greatness.

Fourth, it does at least have to have one thing that is useful in it. Practical is good but it needs to be hidden behind the great. So if you are giving Dental Floss in a stocking, make sure it is behind the 3 lb bar of chocolate.

Fifth, always get something surprising. It has to be something that when they open it and look at it there expression should be “What the hell?”. I do not mean putting in your divorce papers, that’s the wrong idea. For example, this year in my daughters stocking she will be getting scented bubbles. One of the scents are grape because I am assuming that she will eat them so I tried to get her tastes with the surprise.

Finally, get your 2 year old daughter to help with picking out the stuff for the stockings. They have the right idea of what should go into a stocking! The look of surprise on the morning of will be priceless as they pull out a sucker that whistles while you suck on it.

But this doesn’t always work because there are times that you run into the wet blanket that loves the practical.

That’s ok, just change up your style a little bit. Still get some fun stuff but keep in mind that “fun” to them may be a hair clip. So get a hair clip.

Just make sure that it is a Spiderman hair clip.


  1. I wish Hossmom Claus would come to my house. Those are *exactly* the things on my list. Seriously. Well, okay, add a sensible pair of shoes, but those don't fit in a stocking.

  2. You don't want Hossmom to do your stocking. You'll get nursing shoes because they are comfortable and practical. You want me to come to your house to do your stocking, I would get you stripper boots.